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W.'''W;'''h OLDEN, 


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Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Gentlemen of the North 
Carolina Press Association : 

I learned with equal surprise and gi-atification that I had been 
chosen to deliver this address; surprise, because I have not the 
honor to belong to your body, and have been for nearly ten years 
out of the editorial harness ; gratification, that so distinguished an 
honor should have been conferred on me. In this case certainly 
"the office has sought the man, and not the man the office." 

I have approached the duty of preparing this paper with hesi- 
tation and anxiety, since the task of writing the history of jour- 
nalism in North Carolina is one which no man can adequately 
pel-form ; and since also I have to follow the distinguished editors, 
yourself (Mr. Battle,) in 1878; Mr. Cameron, in 1879, and Colonel 
R. B. Creecy, in 1880, who were the selected speakers for those 

We learn from Martin's " History of North Carolina" that print- 
ing was introduced into this State in 1749, by James Davis, from 
Virginia, who set up a press in Newbern. His paper was a small 
weekly, and was called the "North Carolina Gazette." His paper 
continued six years. On the 27th of May, 1768, its publication 
was resumed, and continued until the Revolutionary war. 

The second press was by Andrew Stewart, Printer to the King, 
at Wilmington, in 1763, called the "Cape Fear Gazette and Wil- 
mington Advertiser." This paper ceased in 1767. Stewart's paper 
was succeeded by Adam Boyd's "Mercury," which ceased during 
the Revolutionary war. 

The first revisal made in this State of the laws was printed by 
James Davis, Newbern, State Printer, in 1752. From the color 
of the leather with which it was bound it was called the "yellow 

In 1776 newspapers were printed at Newbern, Wilmington, 
Halifax, Edenton and Hillsboro, Had copies of these papers, says 


Wheeler, been pivserved in the State archives, the history of that 
period would have been much better known than it is. In 1812 
papers were printed at Raleigh, Newbern, Wilmington, Edenton, 
Tarborough, Murfreesborough, Fayetteville and Warrenton, but 
there was no paper west of Rileigh. Governor Swain, writing in 
the "University Magazine," February, 1861, says: "We possess 
copies in a pretty good state of preservation of all the Acts of the 
General Assembly, passed and printed during the Revolution. 
The pamphlet containing the laws of October session^ 1779, con- 
sists of 34 pages, 16 small folio, the remainder in quarto. The 
continued scarcity of paper in 1781 compelled the Public Printer 
to adopt a similar arrangement. Even writing paper was not 
always at the command of men in high official station." 

He adds that he had thought that the earliest paper mill estab- 
lished in the State was by Gotlieb Shober, at Salem, in 1789, but 
he offei-s proof that there was a paper mill at Ilillsboro in 1778. 

There were four printing offices in operation during the Revo- 
lutionary war, one at Newbern, another at Halifax, a third attached 
to the army of Cornwallis, and a fourth in the army of General 

I have in my possession a bound file of the "North Carolina 
Chronicle or Fayetteville Gazette," printed in 1790. It is a very 
small weekly, six by seven inches. It was printed by George 
Roulstone, for John Sibley & Co., at Franklin's Head, in Greene 
street, Fayetteville, at "thre^ dollars per annum." Like all the 
papers of that period, and indeed of the early part of the present 
century, this paper contained little editorial, but is made up of 
foreign and domestic news, advertisements, Legislative and Con- 
gressional proceedings, and the like. 

I have also a valuable file (kindly loaned me by John Gatling, 
Esq., of Raleigh,) of the "State Gazette of North Carolina," 
printed at Edenton by Henry Wills, Joint Printer to the State 
with A. Hodge, running from January 10, 1794, to October 19, 
1797. This is also quite a small weekly. The "post days" at 
Edenton were, for the Northern mail, Tuesdays, and the Southern 
mail Wednesdays. I find no terms of subscription in this paper. 
Among othei names at that time common to that locality I find 
the following : Standin, Skinner, Brough, Cowper, Goodwin, 
Granbery, Newby, Hamilton, Simons, Blount, Brownrigg, Egan, 


Littlcjohn, Payne, Williams, Allen, Ming, Haughton, Norfleet, 
Norcom. I find in this file an advertisement by William Polk, 
"Supervisor of the Revenue District of North Carolina." Also, 
"A charge delivered to the grand jury of the District of North 
Carolina, in the Circuit Court of the United States, held for the 
said State at Wake Court House, June 2d, 1794, by James Iredell, 
one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United 
States." Documents signed by George Washington, Edmond 
Randolph, Napoleon Bounaparte, Anthony Wayne, Henry Knox, 
John Jay and Lord Greenville appear in this file. 

Probably two of the most remarkable and useful men who ever 
lived in this State were Francis Xavier Martin, a native of France, 
and Joseph Gales, Sen., a native of England. 

Mr. Martin was born in Franc^e in 1764, and died in New Or- 
leans in 1846. He settled in Newbern in 1786, and for a while 
taught the French language. He learned printing, established a 
newspaper, and published school books, almanacs and translations 
of French works. In 1789 he was admitted to the bar, of which 
he soon became a leading member. He prepared and published 
treaties on the duties of sheriffs and other officers, made a digest 
of the laws of the State, and reported the decisions of the Confer- 
ence Courts, all the while pursuing his avocation as a printer. 

He was appointed by Mr. Madison a Judge of the Federal Court 
for Mississippi Territory, was transferred thence to the Federal 
bench in New Orleans, and afterwards served thirty-two years or* 
the Supreme Court bench of Louisiana. By engrafting certain 
princij)le8 of the common law upon the system of civil law then in 
use in that State, and by his rare knowledge of the law^ generally, 
he acquired the title of Father of Jurisprudence of Louisiana. 
He received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Harvard College 
and Nashville University. He was w^orth one million dollars at 
his death. His labors in North Carolina as printer, editor, collator, 
reporter, essayist, and the variety of books and pamphlets which 
he published, cannot be overestimated in their importance and 

Mr. Martin was a favorite with Mr. Gaston and the leading 
families of Newbern, and was universally esteemed. It was re- 
lated of him that while he kept bachelor's hall in his small house 
and p'inting office he gave a party, to which he invited all his 


fiiends. And they came, filling his house, his office, his dining 
room, the 'upstairs, the front yard, the back yard, until, over- 
whelmed with their kindness, he went to Mr. Gaston, rubbed his 
hands together as was his wont, and exclaimed, " Mr. Gaston, vat 
sal I do? Mr. Gaston dey all come!" Mr. Gaston relieved the 
little big-hearted man, whom all the people loved, by requesting 
the family living opposite to him to open their palatial mansion to 
his guests. The request was graciously complied with, and 
Xavier's party was a happy one, and for a long time the talk of 
the" town. 

Joseph Gales, Sen., was originally a printer and a bookseller at 
Sheffield, England, where he founded and published the " Sheffield 
Register." He was born in 1760, and died in Raleigh August 
24th, 1841. As the editor of the "Register" he warmly espoused 
the cause of liberty. The principles of the French Revolution 
were convulsing Europe, and Mr. Gales, probably with more zeal 
than^prudence, was so outspoken in his support of these pnnci- 
ples that he was in danger of arrest and imprisonment by the 
British Government. Whereupon, in 1794, he left England with 
his family and came to the United States in 1795, having spent 
some months on his way at Hamburg, Germany. After residing 
four years in Philadelphia, during which he carried on the printing 
business, he was induced by Mr. Macon and other friends to 
transfer his establishment to Raleigh, where, on the 22nd of 
% October, 1799, he established the "Raleigh Register." 

T have in my possession the first volume of this paper, running 
two years from the first number inclusive. I also have a copy of 
the "Sheffield Ins," formerly the "Register," with the motto from 
Oowper, adopted by both papers : 

" Ours are the plans of fair delightful peace, 
I^nwarped by party rage, to live like brothers." 

Mr, Gales was succeeded in Sheffield by James Montgomery, 
the poet, who had been reared in his family, and this copy of the 
"Iris" bears his imprint. 

The infiuence of the "Raleigh Register in the hands of Joseph 
Gales, and imder the conduct of his son, Weston R. Gales, and of 
his grandson, Seaton Gales, was potent in shaping the politics and 
character of our State. The "Register" was always on the side 


of law, order and good morals. Like the "Intelligencer," at 
Washington, establishecf by his eldest son, Joseph Gales, Jr., and 
conducted for^so many years by Gales & Seaton, the latter one of 
the sons-in-law of Joseph Gales, Sr., the "Register" did not teem 
with editorials, especially while in the hands of the Senior Gales. 
The seniors among us will recollect that the "Intelligencer" spoke 
to the country not oftener than once .a week, but when it did 
speak, in support of or in defence of its principles, it was with 
such fulness, discrimination and power that the whole country was 
moved and impressed. 

Edward J: Hale, Sen., Esq., w^ho was reared as a printer in the 
"Tiegister" office, and was a member many years of Mr. Gales' 
family, in a^recent letter to me says : 

"The feeling in regard to editorials in that day was well ex- 
pressed by that eminent lawyer, Peter Browne, who complimented 
me for good sense, half a score of years later, in giving the news 
and eschewing editorials." 

I am sure I will be pardoned for making further extracts from 
Mr. Hales' letter. He says: 

"Mr. Gales was a man of untiring industry. Besides editing 
the *• Register" he kept all his accounts, made out bills, gave re- 
ceipts and conducted a book store. He was also a director in a 
bank, secretary of nearly every benevolent society in the city, 
member of one of the State boards, etc. His accomplishment as a 
sliorthand writer was of great advantage to him in all these occu- 
pations. * * * Pie was never idle. When not occupied by 
company, of which there was a great deal at his house, attracted 
by his own reputation for sound sense, and by the hospitality of 
his brilliant wife and accomplished daughters, his evenings were 
devottd to writing and reading. He was a man of few words. 
His wife, on the contrary, was a great conversationalist. * * * 
When I entered the "Register" office in 1812, Mr. Seaton, who 
had married Mr. Gales' second daughter, was associated with him 
as editor. Mr. Gales, Senior, being the whole or part owner of 
the "Intelligencer," at Washington, edited by Joseph Gales, Jr., 
transferred to Mr. Seaton a half interest m that paper, and he re- 
moved to Washington in 1812. The whole world knows how 
eminent the "Intelligencer" became under the conduct of Gales 
and Seaton." 


The editors of the "Intelligencer" enjoyed the personal friend- 
ship and were the social peers of such men as Madison, Monroe, 
John Quincy Adams, Webster, Clay, Jackson and Randolph. 
They reported alternately the debates in Congress, for which they 
received a salary of $1,000 per annum. Mr. Seaton reported a 
number of the speeches of Mr. Randolph, and Mr. Gales reported 
the great speech of Mr. Webster, in reply to Mr. Hayne on 
Foote's resolutions. 

Time and space would fail me should I attempt to sketch at 
length the lives of Weston R. Gales and Seaton Gales. They 
were graduates of our University, men of letters and learning, 
largely gifted with genius, orators and forcible and graceful writers. 
The dust of the grandfather, and his son and grandson sleeps in 
Raleigh cemetery ; and the remembrance of their useful and spot- 
less public lives, and of their numerous private virtues, is very 
dear to all our people. 

It would require a volume to do justice to the character of 
Joseph Gales, Senior, and to the beneficent influences which have 
resulted from his life and labors. These influences still operate. 
His example lives and should be imitated by all our young men, 
especially by the younger members of our profession. 

The "Hillsboro Recorder" was founded by Dennis Ileartt, in 
1820, and was conducted by him, assisted by one of his sons for 
a time, until 1869, when he disposed of it to Mr. Evans, of the 
"Chronicle." It is now in the hands of a worthy successor, John 
D. Cameron, Esq., associated with Mr. Webb, and is known as 
the Durham Recorder. Dennis Heartt was born in Connecticut in 
1783, and died at Hillsboro 13th May, 1870. 

In Mr. Heartt's day the double pull Ramage press was used, 
with buckskin balls tor inking the form. Printing was executed 
under many difficulties. Types were costly and were used from 
ten to fourteen years. The forms were sometimes underlaid with 
damp paper to bring out the impression. Mr. Heartt engi*aved 
the head of his paper, and with leaden cuts of various kinds illus- 
trated his articles and advertisements. He made his own compos- 
ing sticks of walnut wood, lined with brass. They were good 
sticks, and I remember to this day the sound made by the types 
a^ they were dropped by the left thumb into their places. The 
latest news fi-om China was printed once in three months ; and 

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Noilhern news, brought to Hillsboro by the tri-weekly stage 
coach, was condensed and printed once a week. How slowly, in 
comparison with the present, did the world move at that day. 

Mr. Heartt was a good scholar and wrote well, but he seldom 
presented his readers with a column of editorial in any issue. He 
was a man of refined taste, and his selections were, therefore, ex- 
cellent. His integiity in all respects was perfect. No considera- 
tion could have induced him to abandon or compromise his 
piinciples, or to do wrong knowingly. I was a member of his 
family as one of his apprentices for six or seven years, and I knew 
him thoroughly. There were many features in his character and 
conduct which I could not then understand, but in reviewing the 
past I have since seen him in his true light, and I declare in this 
presence that the best man in all respects whom I have ever known 
was my old master and teacher, Dennis Heartt. 

His son and associate, Edwin A. Heartt, died on the 29th 
August, 1855, in the 36th year of his age. He was an able editor 
and a good man. Unusual honors were rendered to his memory. 
The county court of Orange, the town government, all the churches 
in the town, and the academies and benevelolent institutions put 
on the habiliments of mourning on account of the loss they had 

" Green be the turf above thee, 
Friend of my early days; 
None knew thee but to love thee, 
Or named thee but to praise." 

For many yeara the "Register," the "Minerva" and the "Star 
were the only papers at the seat of government. When quite a 
youth William Boylan removed from Pluchamine, New Jersey, to 
liis mother's brother, Abrara Hodges, first editor of the "Minerva,'* 
tlien State Printer at Halifax. Abram Hodges, during the Revo- 
lutionary war, conducted the Whig press of Samuel Lowdon, of 
New York, and just before the close of the war he conducted 
Washington's traveling press while the army was stationed at 
Valley Forge. At Mr. Hodge's death he left his press and other 
property to Mr. Boylan, who removed to Fayetteville, and thence 
to Raleigh with the "Minerva." There were heated controver- 
sies in those days between these three Raleigh papers, but Halifax, 
where this "Minerv " had sprung full armed from the brain of 

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Jove, was a hotter place politically than Raleigh. Politicians in 
that noted town met and fought every week or two. There was 
a paper called the "Halifax Compiler." Some mischievous wag 
altered the head so as to make it read "Helfire Compilax," and 
one whole issue was printed with this sulphurous title. For seve- 
ral weeks thereafter Halifax was a very hot place. 

Mr. Boylan was a useful, honest and distinguished public man. 
Among other places which he filled he served the people of Wake 
county in the House of Commons from 1813 to 1816 inclusive. 
He died at an advanced age in Raleigh, universally esteemed and 

I learn from Governor Swain, in the "University Magazine," 
that the "Star" was founded November, 1808, by Calvin Jones 
and Thomas Henderson. Dr. Jones was an eminent physician, a 
man of science and knowledge, and an able writer. During the 
war of 1812 he was Adjutant-General of the State. The firm of 
Jones & Henderson was succeeded by Bell & Lawrence, and that 
by Lawrence & Lemay; and on the 3d September, 1835, Mr. 
Lemay assumed sole control of the paper. He conducted it many 
years, and it passed at last into the hands of Mr. W. C. Doub, and 
after a time ceased to exist. Mr. Lemay was educated as a printer 
by Thomas Henderson. Thomas J. Lemay was born in the county 
of Granville in 1802, and died in Wake county September 8, 1863. 
In 1836-37 David Outlaw, of Bertie, afterwards a member of 
Congress, and in 1840 Hugh McQueen, of Chatham, afterwards 
Attorney-General of the State, were his associates in conducting 
the "Star." Mr. Lemay was himself a good English scholar and 
was very successful as editor and State Printer. I knew him well. 
He was the friend of my youth, a just and good man. 

"The actions of the just 
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust." 

The "Free Press," now the "Tarborough Southerner," was first 
issued in Halifax by George Howard, in 1824. Mr. Howard was 
a native of Baltimore. In 1826 he removed to Tarborough, where 
he resided until his death, which occurred in 1863. He was an 
able man, of unswerving integrity, a Democrat of the strongest 
Jackson stamp. He brought his paper with him to Taiborough. 
In 1844 the name of his oldest son, George Howard, Jr., then in 


his 15th year, was associated with that of his father. Meanwhile 
the young man graduated at Chapel Hill, and in 1852 again 
assume^ control of the paper, and at the end of that year the paper 
passed again into the hands of the father. On the 23d September, 
1875, the "Tarborough Southerner" passed into the hands of 
Dossey Battle, Esq., the late distinguished presiding officer of this 
body, who so worthily and ably fills its editorial chair. 

It is related that Hon. B. F. Moore once sought the publication 
of a Whig article in the "Free Press." Mr. Howard declined to 
publish it, when Mr. Moore exclaimed, "What do you call your 
paper .the *Free Press' for f "I'll change it," replied Mr. Howard, 
and the next issue was the "Tarborough Press." 

If this time-honored journal had been the means only of edu- 
cating Judge Howard, and presenting him to the State as one of 
Edgecombe's most useful and distinguished sons, it would deserve 
on that account our most respectful regard. 

Among the oldest printing establishments in the State is that of 
L. V. & E. T. Blum. The founder of the establishment, John C. 
Bhim, was born in Bethania, old Stokes, July 17, 1784. He died 
November 11, 1854. The Salem printing office was founded 
November, 1827. Several newspapers by different titles have pre- 
ceded the "People's Press," which still exists." That useful pub- 
lication, the "Farmer's and Planter'^ Almanac," was commenced 
by Mr. Blum in 1828, and has been continued for more than half 
a century. John C. Blum was of a friendly and cheerful disposi- 
tion, and was highly respected and esteemed wherever known. 
He was among the pioneer editors and publishers of Western 
North Carolina. 

Salem and Winston have been especially favored with good 
newspapers. Indeed, this locaAy has been for a long time the 
seat of learning and letters, and the publications which have 
emanated from it have been, and are now worthy of the thrifty 
and growing and enlightened population which compose those two 
towns. All of us, who are here present from a distance, ardently 
wish for this whole community the most abundant prosperity and 

Hon. Philo White, LL D., was born in Whitestown, New York, 
June 22d, 1799. After spending a few years in Utica, he re- 
moved to North Carolina, and in 1820 settled in Salisbury, and 


became the editor of the "Western Carolinian," In 1830 he was 
appointed Navy Agent for the Pacific station. Returning home, 
on the 14th of November, 1834, he established the "North Caro- 
lina Standard" in Raleigh, and was elected State Printer. At 
that time the State Printer received a salary of $900 per year, 
which covered everything — paper, folding, stitching and binding. 
In 1836 he disposed of the "Standard" to Thomas Loring, and 
was for seven years purser in the navy. Afterwards he removed 
to Wisconsin, and held many important offices in that Territory 
and State. He was one of the founders of Racine City and the 
author of the system of plank roads. In 1856 Racine College 
conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In 
1849 he was Consul at Hamburg, Germany, and in 1853 he was 
United States Minister to the Republic of Ecuador. In 1859 he 
returned to his native place, Whitestown, where he still lives, in 
the 82d year of his age, closing happily and honorably a long life 
devoted to his country, to society, and to hosts of friends. In 
1822 he married Nancy R. Hampton, of Salisbury. His oldest 
child, Maiy, was the first wife of Hon. John W. Ellis, after^^ ards 
Judge and Governor of the State. Several years ago his first wife 
died, and as a proof of his gallantry and his love of domestic life, 
he has recently married a second time, and his remaining years 
and those of his excellent consort are devoted to works of benevo- 
lence and charity in his native town. 

The lives of such men as Philo White and Edward J. Hale may 
justly be regarded as benefactions to mankind]; and the real but 
modest fame which encircles them mellows and glows more and 
more as they approach what men call death. 

"Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou 11 vest 
Live well ; how long or short permit to heaven." 

The labors of Mr. White for ten years as editor of the "Western 
Carolinian" were arduous and incessant. He was preceded by 
Mr. Samuel Bingham. Mr. Bingham and himself got out the first 
publication deserving the name in all that region of the State 
between Vn-ginia and South Carolina, stretching westwardly from 
Ilillsboro to the Tennessee line. Mr. White pervaded all this 
region in person or by his paper, diffusing light and establishing 


mail routes for the benefit of the people. Mr. White thus con- 
chides one of his recent letters to me: 

"Being obliged to leave Raleigh in 1837, to attend to my 
father's landed interest in Wisconsin, I transferred the "Standard" 
to Thomas Loring, of whose management of the paper no one can 
know more than yourself. It was among the painful incidents of 
our lives for myself and family to be severed from our residence 
in the State and from social intercourse with many friends ; and I 
may here be allowed to reiterate the life-long sentiment of ray 
heart, that I shall ever cherish a deep affection for the good Old 
North State, ray political foster mother, whose very soiy rever- 
ence, as within it the dearest objects that ever sweetened existence 
and blessed my sojourn here on earth, lie entombed." 

Speaking of Mr. Hale, Mr. White says: "Edward J. Hale, our 
mutual and most excellent friend, was coirtemporaneous with my- 
self as a journalist, he always at Fayetteville, and I at Salisbury 
and Raleigh, and to hini I raust award the honor of being the 
patriarch of journalism in North Carolina, for he was probably 
longer continuously in the harness as printer, editor and owner of 
one among the first-class newspapers in the State than any other 
now living." 

Mr. White also refers in very kind terms to Mr. Bingham, who 
still lives, very old and blind, in the family of his daughter, Mrs. 
Judge Furches, of Statesville. And of our brother Bruner he 

"The 'Carolina Watchman' still exists and prospers, some half 
a century from its establishment, under the control of that excel- 
lent man and prudent journalist, J. J. Bruner." 

Thomas Loring, an educated printer, a native of Massachusetts, 
succeeded Mr. White in the "Standard" in 1837. He died about 
the close of the war in Goldsboro. He was a raan of good attain- 
ments, and for many years one of the ornaments of the press. 

Edward J. Hale, Sen., Esq., was born in Randolph county, 
October 26, 1802. His father died when he was seven years of 
age, and his mother when he was nine, leaving eight children. 
He was adopted into the accomplished family of his guardian, 
Colonel Edward Jones, of Rock Rest, Chatham county. He was 
sent to school one year, and at the end of that time, February 28, 
1812, he was placed with Mr. Gales in the office of the "Ralrigh 


Register," with whom he remained until 1824. He then went to 
Washington City, where he spent one year in the "Intelligencer" 
office, perfecting himself in his business. At the end of this time 
he was invited by John D. Eccles, Esq., and Colonel John McRae 
to Fayetteville, to assume editorial control of the "Observer." 
He conducted the "Observer" from the 8th of January, 1825, 
until March, 1865, more than forty years, when Shermajii's forces 
burned his office and bookstore, thus depriving him of his means 
of living. This vandalic act was similar to the outrage of Admiral 
Cockburn, of tho British forces, who, when he had captured 
Washington City in August, 1814, sacked the office of the 
"National Intelligencer." Forty years of active industry had 
blessed Mr. Hale with a comfortable fortune, which was well 
nigh obliterated by the stroke of war. In August, 1866, he re- 
moved to New York City and re-opened his business as publisher 
and bookseller. Though in his 79th year, he is still active and 
industrious. A true-hearted North Carolinian, he loves his State 
and her people, many of whom honor and cheer him by their 
visits when they are in his adopted city. His interest in his 
native State and his industry are shown by the weekly letters he 
writes for several of oiir newspapers. As soon as Mr. Hale's sons 
were of age, and had graduated at Chapel Hill, he associated 
them with him in his business. It is needless to say that their 
labors have been valuable alike to the public and himself. 

And here it may not be improper to state that in 1854 Mr. 
Hale and myself established the cash system in subscriptions to 
newspapers, which has worked so well, and without which the 
press of the State could not prosper. Every subscriber should 
read his own paper, and when he has paid for it in advance it is 

The "Fayetteville Observer" wielded for forty years a powerful 
influence in North Carolina. It circulated in every part of the 
State, but especially in the Cape Fear country. Mr. Hale is not a 
florid writer. His style is plam and clear, the " pure English un- 
deflled." He has that first quality of genius, the power of conden- 
sation. Mr. Hale has shown his good sense in that he never sought 
or held public office. 

The " Carolina Watchman" was founded by Hamilton C. Jones, 
Esq., in 1832. Mr. Jones is remembered as the able lawyer, the 

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genial gentleman, and the author of "C^ousin Sally Dillard." The 
'' Watchman" opposed the nullification movement, headed by Hon. 
Burton Craige in the "Western Carolinian." It is a singular fact, 
and evinces great tenacity on his part, that Mr. Craige, who was 
an honest and an able man, lived to be the author of the ordinance 
of secession in our State convention in 1861. Mr. Jones sold to 
Pendleton t\; Brnner in 1839. After some other changes Mr. 
Bruner became sole owner of the "Watchman," and has conducted 
it "since 1850. He is one of the old style, model editors. 

I am indebted to Mr. Bruner for tlu^ following information in 
relation to the Salisbury "Western Carolinian :" 

Editors from 1820 to 1823, Samuel Bingham and Philo White. 
From 1823 to 1830, Philo White. From 1830 to 1831, Burton 
Craige and H. Jeff. Jones. From 1831 to 1833, Burton Craige. 
From 1833 to 1836, John Beard. From 1836 to 1838, Dr. Ashbel 
Smith and Joseph W. Hampton. From 1838 to 1844, Dr. Ben. 
J. Austm and Charles F. Fisher. The paper then expired. All 
these, save Dr. Ashbel Smith, Philo White and Samuel Bingham, 
are dead. 

Colonel Charles F. Fisher, who was the son of Hon. Charles 
Fisher, of Rowan, had been a member of the State Senate, Presi- 
dent of the North Carolina Railroad, and Colonel of the Sixth 
Regiment North Carolina State Troops. He was slain in the first 
battle of Manassas while gallantly leading his regiment. 

Among the oldest editors in the State is C. N. B. Evans, Esq., 
of the Milton "Chronicle." Mr. Evans was born in Norfolk 
county, Virginia, in 1812. He has worked as a journeyman in 
Columbia, S. C, in Raleigh, with Philo White, in Richmond, 
Virginia, in Hillsboro, with Dennis Heartt, and elsewhere; and 
was once on the eve of goinu to Buenos Ayres, to work on a 
])aper half English and half S[>anish, but was deterred by a civil 
war which 8\iddenly broke forth in that quarter. His first con- 
nection with the press as editor was with the Greensboro "Patriot." 
William Swaim, long since deceased, a brilliant writer, was the 
founder of the "Patriot." In 1835, when this paper was sold, 
Mr. Evans became the purchaser. He conducted the paper for 
several years, and sold to Lyndon Swaim and M. S. Sherwood. 
The first paper in Milton was by a Mr. Perkins, in 1818. He was 
succeeded by Benjamin J. Cory ; he by John Campbell, Jr.. who 


died in Weldon a few years since, Mr. Kenyon succeeded Mr. 
Campbell, and the former, having failed in 1831, Nathaniel J. 
Palmer, Esq., established the Milton "Spectator." Mr Palmer 
died prematurely, from an accident many years ago, at hi^ resi- 
dence. Cherry Hill, near Milton. He was a native of Orange, a 
brothel" of John C. Palmer, Esq., of Raleigh, the latter of whom 
is a brother-in-law of Philo White. 

In 1841 Mr. Evans rented the old "Spectator" office and began 
the publication of the Milton "Chronicle." At the close of the 
war the "Chronicle" stopped, and Mr. Evans nublished, for two 
years, a paper in Danville, Va. ^Next, with his son. Captain T. G. 
Evans, he published the Hillsboro "Recorder" for two years, and 
then sold to John T>. Cameron. Next and last, in 1873 he re- 
vived the "Chronicle," and now, in his 69th year, he is still con- 
ducting the paper he established forty years ago. Mr. Evans, 
though by no manner of means a romantic person, has certainly 
led an eventful and romantic life. He is a capital editor. Like 
Xavier Martin, he sets up much of his editorial in his composing 
stick, without stopping to write it out. "Charley Evans," as he is 
called by his friends, could not do a dishonest thing if he were to 
try. It is the wish of the whole press of the State, whether he 
belongs to this association or not, that his last days may be his 
best days, and that he may long be spared to his family, his 
readers and his friends. 

I regret I have mislaid an interesting letter from Lyndon Swaim, 
containing a sketch of the Greensboro press. William Swaim 
died in the prime of manhood. His nephew, Lyndon Swaim, with 
M. S. Sherwood, conducted the "Patriot" many years, and gave it 
a high character as a newspaper. Some years since Mr. Swaim re- 
tired from the press. He has represented Guilford county in the 
Legislature. Mr. Sherwood died some years since. He also rep- 
resented Guilford county in the Legislature. 

And now, Mr. President, though I am sure I weary you, I must 
refer to another living editor, who, though not yet an old man, 
has made his mark indelibly in the annals of the State. William 
J. Yates, of the Charlotte " Democrat," is a native of Fayetteville, 
a practical printer, having learned the art in the office of the 
"North Carolinian," in that town. That paper was established by 
H.L.Holmes, and continued by W. H. Bayneand Robert K. Bryan, 


the latter now the editor of the Fayelteville "Examiner," and in 
1855 by Mr. Yates, who removed to Charlotte in 1856, and pur- 
chased the "Democrat." Mr. Yates has never been a candidate 
for office before the people, but in 1859-60 he was chosen a Coun- 
cillor of State by the Legislature, arfd under Governor Clark's 
administration was a member of the Literary Board. Mr. Yates 
has never been neutral on any public question, but has uni- 
formly expressed himself, without regard to the smiles or frowns 
of the public. Honest, candid, inflexible in his devotion to his 
principles, industrious, enterprising and public-spirited, we all re- 
joice in his "prosperity and wish for him many more years of use- 

I have thus imperfectly sketched a number of the luminaries of 
the press. Some of them have gone out, and others are still shin- 
ing. ' I might mention a great many others within my own recol- 
lection during the last iifty years who were tra ned writers for the 
ju-ess, and who have left shining pages of wisdom and wit in the 
State's history. Neither have I space to dwell on that very largo 
number of public men whose intellectual training may be traced 
to the habit early formed of writing for the press as correspond- 
ents or amateur editors. The old iown of Oxford has witnessed 
the training of such men as Goodloe, Wiley and Kingsbury, the 
latter now the scholarly editor of the Wilmington "Star." Mr. 
Goodloe is one of the ablest writers in this country, and Calvin H. 
Wiley needs no eulogy from any one. I say plain Calvin H. 
Wiley, for no title could add weight to his namp. He has pro- 
bably done more for the cause of letters in this State, and more 
by tongue and pen for the education of the people of all ages than 
any other living man. And this is true in a greater or less degree 
of all the cities, and towns, and villages in the State. Kind words 
uttered over the dead can do them no good. If they deserve 
these words, let them be said while they are living, that they may 
be thereby cheered and strengthened in their endeavors to benefit 
mankind. And John H. Wheeler, our venerable historian, who 
began to live almost with this century, whom I had the pleasure 
of seeing recently at his house in Washington. He has nearly 
lost his eyesight from intense labor in finishiiig the second edition 
of his history. His eye is dim and his frame totters, but his heart 
is still young, and its last pulsations, so far as things mortal are 


concerned, will be for his beloved native North Carolina. Like 
Governor Swain, he has been writing nearly all his life for the 

Governor Swain once told me that his father being postmaster 
at Asheville, he imbibed his first love of reading when a boy from 
the "National Intelligencer." During his most valuable life lie 
wrote much for the press, especially for the "University MagM- 
zine." The same is true of Governor Vance, also a native of 
Buncombe county. When a youth of 18 he wrote for the Ashe- 
ville "Messenger," and in 1854 for the Asheville "Spectator," 
and in 1855 he became a regular editor, with John D. Hyman, of 
the latter paper. While at Chapel Hill, in 1852, he was one of 
the first editors of the "University Magazine." Governor Swain 
entered the House of Commons from Buncombe in 1824, in his 
23d year, and Governor Vance entered the House fi*om the same 
county in 1854, in the 24th yeai* of his age. Governor Swain was 
chosen Governor in 1832, in his 3l8t year, and Governor Vance 
In 1862, in his 32d year. Both these men were poor in early life, 
but they were largely gifted with mind. I have no doubt that 
much of their great success in life may be traced to their habit, 
early formed, of writing for the press. 

" Hard are life's early steps ; and but that youth 
Is buoyant, confident, and strong in hope. 
Men would behold its threshold ami despair." 

I would earnestly urge upon the youth of the State, and especially 
on printers who aspire to be editors, the importance of learning 
and practicing the art of composition. A man who writes well 
thinks clearly, and may speak well also, if he will train himself 
to it. 

An editorial convention was held in Raleigh, November, 1837. 
The papers represented were the "Register," "Star," "Standard," 
Raleigh ; " Recorder," Hillsborough ; " Western Carolinian " and 
" Carolina Watchman," Salisbury ; " Citizen," Asheborough ; 
"Spectator," Newbern ; "Observer," Fayetteville ; "Telescope," 
Green sborough ; "Free Press," Tarborough ; "Journal," Char- 
lotte ; " Spectator," Milton. These men were so modest that their 
names were not even recorded in the proceedings. On motion of 
Mr. Loring, Dennis Heartt presided, and Weston R. Gales was 


secretary. Mr. Gales, from the committee appointed for that pur- 
pose, reported some excellent resolutions, which were adopted, 
with rules for advertising and job work. But these rules were 
not closely adhered to. And here let me observe that it is idle to 
adopt rules of this kind if they are not carried out in good faith 
by all. All the other professions have their rules, to which they 
strictly adhere. If it is worth five dollars to make a motion in 
court, a subscription to a good newspaper should be more than 
two dollars per annum. If a visit by a physician is worth two 
dollars, an advertisement of fourteen lines should be worth the 
same for one insertion. Gentlemen, it would not become me to 
thrust ad'^e upon you, but let me urge you to look to your in- 
terests as^ther professions do ; to do good work, charge full 
prices, and not underbid each other for public patronage. 

Wheeler, in his history in 1851, gives a list of 44 papers then 
jmblished in the State; and Mr. Bennett, in his chronology in 
1858, added 30 to Colonel Wheeler's list. Many of these have 
ceased to exist; some of them are continued under different names, 
and not less, I presume, than two-thirds of the editors living in 
1851 have passed away. I do not know accurately the number 
qI newspapers and periodicals now published in the State, but I 
think I would not err materially if I should assume the number to 
be one hundred. 

I am painfully sensible, Mr. President, of the omissions and 
impei-fections of this address. I have referred only to the oldest 
presses and to the oldest editors and ex-editors, with incidental 
allusions to modern editors and writers for the press. I think I 
have not commended unduly those I have mentioned. I regret I 
could not sketch the lives and services of all these laborers in the 
fields of mind, whether present or absent on this occasion. I 
would respectfully suggest that the Association appoint some one 
to continue the history of the press at each communication of 
your body; and when, in the judgment of the Association that 
history shall have been fully written, that a committee be ap- 
pointed to condense it into a book, to be printed for perpetual 

Among the dead, not already mentioned, trained writers tor 
the press, but not editors, I recall the following: Dr. Joseph 
Caldwell, Archibald D. Murphy, George E. Badger, William 


Gast5n, Francis L. Hawks, William B. Shepard, B. F. Moore, 
William A. Graham, William II. Haywood, Jr., Bedford Brown, 
Charles Fisher, Bartlett Yancy, Louis D. Henry, Robert Strange, 
John Orfty Bynum, Warren Winslovv, Edward Jenner Warren, 
Henry W. Miller, Robert B. Gilliam, Edward Conigland, Romulus 
M. Saunders, Charles F. Fislier, Asa Biggs, James B. Shepard, 
Perrin Busbee, H. W. Husted, William Hooper, Abram W, Yen- 
able, John H. Haughton, Charles Manly, Henry T. Clark, Henry 
I. Toole, John A. Gilmer, John M. Morehead, John H. Bryan, 
William H. Washington. Many others might be added. Some 
of these were editors for a short time, but editing was not their 
profession. Dr. Caldwell wrote much in favor of inlernal im- 
provements and public schools, and Archibald D. Murphy was 
one of the finest scholars and writers of his day. Some of his 
ablest papers in the way of reports may be found in the journals 
of the State Senate from 1812 to 1818 inclusive. 

It would be impracticable, as I have observed, to sketch modern 
presses and editors. This must be left * to the future. But I 
cannot forbear to refer to Henry S. Ellenwood, a native of 
Boston, who lived and taught school for many years in Hills- 
borough, the author of the beautiful verses, " The Marriage of tli£ 
Sun and Moon." He established a paper in Wilmington, and died 
soon after of apoplexy; and George W. Sitefi, the accomplished 
writer whom the people of Salem and Winston so well remember, 
who sat when a boy at the feet of Wordsworth and Poe, and 
listened to their harmonious numbers. And John W. Cameron, 
of the Wadesboro "Argus," whose career was so biilliant, and all 
too brief for the State he loved so well. And the two Fultons, 
Price, Burr and Engelhard, of Wilmington ; Mayhew and Pasteur, 
Newbern ; Machen, Mc Williams, Houston and Dimmock, of 
Washington; Raboteau, Busbee, Lawrence, Wilson, Merexlith and 
Pell, of Raleigh; Hybart, Cameron, Bayne and Sherwood, of 
Fayetteville ; Thomas J. Holton, of the Charlotte " Journal," who 
was reared by Philo White in the "Carolinian" office, Salisbury; 
Atkin and Edney, of Asheville; Webb, of Halifax; Yancy and 
Paschall, of Oxford ; Robert N. Yerrell, of Warreiiton ; of some ^ 
in the western part of the State, and indeed in every part of the 
State, including the great Albemarle region, whose names I can- 
not now recall, but who have left behind them on record marked 


and honorable proofs of their attainments and labors as members 
of the profession. 

And there are many journeymen and foremen, modest, intelli- 
gent, unobtrusive men, who deserve notice and commendation. 
If the editor is the big wheel of the mill, they are the driving 
wheels, without which the mill would stop. 

Among these I may notice Thomas Covington, for so many 
years the foreman of the '-Register" office, who trained a number 
of young men for usefulness as good printers, including such men 
as Mr. Hale and Mr. David C. Dudley, of Raleigh, who is one of 
the oldest printers in the State, and much beloved and honored by 
the printers of Raleigh. John T. West, Esq., of Raleigh, deceased 
for some years, formerly a foreman and publisher in New Tor]^, 
gave Mr. Greely the first job that brought him into notice as a 
good printer. Mr. Greely remembered him affectionately, and 
when a candidate for the Presidency wrote him that if he should 
be elected he, Mr. West, must hang up his hat m the White House 
and stay with him a long time. 

The press has done more than all things else to diffuse intelli- 
gence among the people, and to acquaint the world with the 
character ol our State and her resources. In 1848 it forced the pas- 
sage of the charter of the Central Railroad, by which the East has 
been gradually but surely tied to the West by iron bands, and by 
which, most intimately and directly, this active and prosperous 
place of trade now has a railroad; for, if there had been no i ail- 
road to Greensboro there would have been no iron horse to-day 
in Salem and Winston. The press has fostered the University 
and the Colleges and the Public Schools. It has always ranged 
itself on the side of learning, liberty, social order and sound morals. 
It has uniformly rejected the isms which infest Europe and the 
Eastern and Western States of this country. Newspapers devoted 
to socialism, or to social equality, nihilism, communism, or to 
infidelity in any of its shapes or shades, could not live in the at 
mosphere of North Carolina. 

It is still a reproach to our people that ministers of the gospel, 
editors and teachers of our children and youth, are less cherished 
and supported than the other professions. Editors should be more 
united as a class, and should respect themselves and each other 
more than they have heretofore done. Let them bear in mind 

( 22 ) 

that thoy are the peers personally and socially of the politicians 
and statesmen whom they so largely make. The "black art" of 
the printer and editor fills the world with light. The press is 
emphatically the power in this country. There is more potency 
in tlie click of the type in the composing stick than in the click of 
the musket. The roar of the steam printing press is more powerful 
in the councils of the world than the roar of artillery. Editors can- 
not create, they only collect and utter public opinion. Poets [nit 
into hamionious phrase the common things which all see and feel, 
but cannot express, and we are pleased or charmed with the poem 
because it voices our sentiments and our thoughts. It is so with 
the press. It leads by not seeming to lead. It condenses and 
pj;ppagates public thought. Its white-tipped sheets sail every- 
where, the messengers of myriad minds. They are seen in all 
public places, and they flutter down by every fireside. How much 
do they contain to solace the aged and infirm, to cheer and to 
animate and rouse the active and enterprising, and to mould and 
shape the minds and morals of the young! This great power, 
gentlemen, is in your hands. Use it well. Lift it up on high 
before all the people, that its light may stream out in all direc- 
tions. Let nothing unclean or vicious pollute your columns. Let 
the father, by his fireside, read your journals through and through 
to his wife and his children without bringing the slightest blush 
to the cheek because of one word even that journal may contain. 
And give and take good humoredly in politics. A disputant who 
loses his temper admits his own weakness or that of his cause. 
And let us all be as teachable as may be. ^ Wisdom will not die 
with us. Wise men are always learning, an>l it is to the teachable 
that wisdom opens her treasures 

But above all, gentlemen, let us be true to the welfare and 
glory of North Carolina. Let our chief attention be given to our 
h ome interests. The Republic is now so large that no one name 
can fill it, as in the days of Jackson and Clay. It stretches through 
twenty-five degrees of latitude, and stands with its vast breadth 
from sea to sea. Men, and even States are dwarfed in its pres- 
e nee. This remits us in a certain sense to our own State, and each 
man to his own work "over against his own house." Let us 
augment the wealth and gloiy of the State by making the coun- 
ties and cities and towns what they should be, by a wise and liberal 

( ^3 ) 

development and cultivation of their resources; and thus let us 
contribute our full share to the renown and the power of the whole 
country by making North Carolina what she should be as one of 
the Old Thirteen. As Massachusetts men are true to Massachu- 
setts, let us be true to North Carolina. We would not boast of 
anything, but we are willing to be looked at and judged by the 
country and by our sister States. Our men are brave and true, 
and our women as accomplished and beautiful as any in the world. 
We have not lost in our moral status or Christian manhood be- 
cause, like Rhode Island and New York, we once owned slaves. 

In all these efforts to cherish and develop our home interests 
the press of the State must lead. We live in an age of great and 
startling events. The apparently impending war in Europe, A^a 
and Africa will pour floods of immigrants into this country. They 
are coming now at the rate of one hundred thousand per month. 
These immigrations may become irruptions. They will scatter 
themselves over the continent. Many of them will, after a while, 
settle in this State. They will bring with them their habits, their 
j)rejudices, their isms of all kinds, their knowledge and their 
ignorance, their accomplishments, their muscle for labor and their 
money. Through the influence of the press we must mould and 
govern them, not they us. Let them come from all quarters, but 
let us, as far as we can, preserve the character of our State for 
integrity, for devotion to law, liberty and order, and for a real, 
heartfelt regard for the pure doctrines of our common Christianity. 

And now, Mr. President, having detained you so long, I will 
conclude with a sentiment which has at all timeq and under all 
circumstances animated my heart ; a sentiment delivered by Willie 
P. Man gum fifty years ago, at a Fourth of July festival in 
Raleigh: " North Carolina, great in physical, in intellectual and 
in moral resources; the land of our sires, and the home of our 



Return to desk from which borrowed. 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 



JANS 1955 lIU 


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LD 21-100m-9,'48(B399sl6)476 

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